The role Wheaton was trying out for was likely that of the young Danceny, a role that would ultimately go to Henry Thomas. Given when “Valmont” came out, this would have likely happened after the end of the famously troubled second season of “Next Generation.” Wheaton was no stranger to film, having appeared in eight features to date, including Rob Reiner’s coming-of-age hit “Stand By Me” in 1986, so he was eager to appear in a movie again. Wheaton said:
“When I was still working on ‘Star Trek,’ we had finished the season, and we were on hiatus when I was cast by Miloš Forman to be in his film ‘Valmont.’ The shooting schedule for that movie would have run over into the first week of production on ‘Next Generation,’ which wasn’t going to be a problem because, for whatever reason, we were shooting that season out-of-order and we were shooting the second episode first.”
Okay, so no problem, right? Wheaton could star in the movie, maybe ask that Wesley Crusher be written out for a few episodes, and then return to “Star Trek” at his leisure. It seems, however, that said rewrites weren’t so easy, as a Wesley Crusher-centered episode was scheduled right when Wheaton wanted to be absent.
Or was he? Wheaton recalled:
“One of the producers told my agent that they could not write me out of that episode because it was a Wesley-focused episode, and I couldn’t go work for Miloš Forman in Paris. He called my house and told me, ‘It’s a Wesley episode, and I’m writing a scene with you and Gates [McFadden] that’s going to move your mother-son relationship forward, and it’s really important to the series,’ and he just lied to me.”